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Land-use laws prevent towns from expanding

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High Five
Friday, September 17, 2010

Many Oregon towns have attempted to expand their urban growth boundaries to attract industrial development, only to struggle in court proceedings for many years.

Groups such as 1000 Friends of Oregon and the Oregon Farm Bureau strongly oppose development on the farmland that surrounds many Willamette Valley towns.

The city of Donald, population 1,030, thought it might be wise to expand the town's urban growth boundary and attract some industry. Get some jobs in here to counter what's been a 65 percent population increase since 2000, the city council agreed.

A widow with land adjoining the city limits was offering her farm as a logical expansion site. A rail line ran through it and city sewer and water pipes were right at the property line, ready to go.

It took five and a half years, with multiple studies, hearings and appeals, for the Marion County town to add 34 acres.

Read more at  OregonLive.com.

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Gene Dieken
0 #1 UGB expansionGene Dieken 2010-09-18 14:37:54
I'm not sure that 4-5 years to expand a UGB is all that terrible. The land will never be rural again.

UGB fights and journalism about them always seem to focus on an elderly disenfranchised widow. A landowner and a law firm with a good story aren't usually operating with unalloyed motive.

An energetic reporter would also analyze options that don't require expansion and why they aren't being considered.
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